Saturday, January 24, 2009

All About the Knit

Some Christmas gifts.

A baby gift.

The MadelineTosh booth at TNNA.

I went to The National Needlearts Association trade show recently as a guest of my friend Amy of MadelineTosh. It was fun, fun, fun. I met Cat Bordhi, Edie Eckman, Melissa Leapman, Tara Manning, Stephanie Japel, Janel Laidman, Lorna Miser, Theresa, Ron and Cecil Miskin of Buffalo Gold, and Jeannie Duncan of Fiesta Yarns - (I "met" her on Ravelry and she's an Aggie; so, I had to go to her booth and meet her IRL) - just to name a few. I chatted with Louisa Harding, who I've met on a couple of occasions when she was in Texas. I was channelling Thia Maria the whole time, because lots of the yarn companies she used to carry in her shop had booths there. I got drunk on the yarn fumes, and generally had a good time.

MK out.

Friday, January 23, 2009

And the Nominees Are...

Woo hoo! I'm so excited! The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominations for consideration yesterday!

First of all, I am thrilled that I've seen most of the movies nominated for the big five categories - picture, actor, actress, supporting actor and supporting actress. I have yet to watch Frozen River, The Wrestler and Revolutionary Road. Frozen River is no longer playing in this area; so, I don't know how I am going to pull that one off. I've seen one source that says it is coming out on DVD February 10; so, here's hoping.

Secondly, I am thrilled that Slumdog Millionaire was nominated for an Oscar. I know that it won the Golden Globe for Best Picture, but you never know with the Oscar. For the most part, I am happy with the movies that were nominated. I would have liked to see Josh Brolin nominated for Best Actor, because I thought he did a marvy job playing "W" in W. More on that later. I was a little miffed that Australia didn't get nominated for Best Picture, because I thought it was as good as Titanic was, but what do I know? I think Frost/Nixon and Milk are good movies, but I think because they are about real people, they got an automatic nomination. I personally feel that Slumdog is the best out of the field and Benjamin Button is a close second. I would put The Reader in the number three spot.

So, recently seen movies not nominated for a top five:

Happy-Go-Lucky is a cute movie with Sally Hawkins playing Poppy, a woman who always sees the bright side of everything. It was pretty humorous when she decided to learn how to drive and that her instructor turned out to be a real wet blanket. There were some funny scenes involving those two. Hawkins did a really good job playing Poppy, as does Eddie Marsan who plays the driving teacher. It is set in London, and it's a bit quirky; so, yay!

W., starring Josh Brolin as the Dub, Elizabeth Banks (Laura), James Cromwell (George, Sr.), Ellen Burstyn (Barbara) and Richard Dreyfuss (Cheney). It was a slanted rehash about how the Dub went from being an alcoholic playboy to the President of the United States of America, and it left me with many questions that weren't answered. The movie wasn't very good, overall, but Josh Brolin did a bang up job as George W. Bush. He has the mannerisms and the diction down!

Before I go, my one comment (Yay! A comment!) and several e-mails wanted more info about Jackson. He is our newest grandchild - Number Five! He arrived on January 19, weighing in at 7 pounds and 1 ounce, and stretching out 19 inches long. He is a good baby so far. I think I'll keep him.

MK out.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A New Beginning

I have news.

There's a new man in my life. His name is Jackson Robert.

He's pretty cute.

Y'all probably thought I was going to write a post about the Inauguration. Well, I'm not. I will say that I enjoyed watching the festivities. It was as royal as we, in the US, will ever get - since our system of government is not based on the rules of royalty and all that they entail. It all looked like a fun party, and made me wish that I was there.

I wish all the best to the new leader of the free world. He has inherited a mess, and has many things to accomplish, but together - no matter what our individual affiliations are - we can get the job done. It all starts with one person, but if we all did a little something in our own communities, it would add up to a lot of something.

I've been out of town a lot this month, but I have cleaned out four drawers in the kitchen. Yay me.

MK out.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Word for 2009 is Decrapification

I know, I know...I've been whining and gritching about decrapifying my house for longer than I've had this blog.

However, I have been decrapifying my mother's house lately and I feel very inspired to do the same to my house. I deserve to live in an orderly house..all the way down to the drawers.

Instead of a list of New Year's resolutions, my challenge for 2009 will be to decrapify. I will label posts in which I discuss any progress with the words "decrapification challenge." I will use this public venue as a way to be held accountable. If I haven't posted any updates in a while, feel free to call me on it.

MK out.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Just Movies

I did get to go to the movies yesterday and I saw The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. I recognized some of the adult actors - especially that good looking Rupert Friend - who was playing against type very convincingly as a cold-hearted Nazi. The movie is based on a book by the same name. It is a good story, with good acting, including the children. A little boy and his family move to the country, as a result of his father's promotion. His dad is a high ranking Nazi officer, and he is now the director of a work camp. There are not many other children nearby, except for what the little boy thinks are farmers all wearing pajamas. There is an electrical fence separating the work camp from the residence, and the little boy finds it, as well as a Jewish prisoner his age, one day while exploring where he has been told not to go. I really liked this movie.

Movie Challenge results - Seven movies in thirteen days. Well, that's seven more movies than I would have seen otherwise.

I've also watched some DVDs lately:
Firstly, I cannot believe that I never reviewed In Bruges! It is a really good movie. The proverbial “they” call it an action comedy, but the comedy is very.very.dark. Collin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson play two hitmen who are sent to Bruges, Belgium as a way to regroup after a difficult hit in London. Ralph Fiennes plays their boss. While in Bruge, they meet people involved in a film shoot, and interact with the natives – all making situations more difficult for them, as they are waiting for instructions for the next hit. It was good, I say.

If you like the first one, then you will like Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2. The same girls are in it: America Ferrera, Blake Lively, Alexis Bledel, and Amber Tamblyn. The story takes off where the girls finish their first year of college. They all spread out across the globe with some really cool summer jobs. It is light fare, but cute.

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Dollars is a documentary chronicling the world of video gaming – specifically that of Donkey Kong. Twenty years ago, Billy Mitchell set the world record that has held up until recently, when Steve Wiebe seriously challenged him. Mitchell had set up the Twin Galaxies organization. It is the official scorekeeper in the electronic video gaming world, and Mitchell is its king. It was a fascinating look into this rivalry that continues today.

Interview was an interesting look at the world of journalism. Steve Buscemi, who starred and directed this film, plays a political correspondent who is assigned the task of interviewing a celebrity. Katya, played by Sienna Miller. He is not too happy about his task, and the fact that Missy Thang arrives very late for the interview, as well at the fact that a big story is breaking at that moment in DC, does not help matters. It was a character study, but I don’t think it was Buscemi’s best work. He seemed a little self aware in the role, but it may have been due to his dual role. I think it would be hard to direct oneself. Miller was good playing a skankish celebrity.

Tropic Thunder is a satirical farce starring Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey, Jr., Steve Coogan, Tom Cruise and Nick Nolte. It was funny, and the fact that Tom Cruise has been nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe for playing a crazy person is very interesting…as it is not much of a stretch. (Did I say that in my outside voice?)

The Ten is an interesting little movie. It is a series of skits illustrating the Ten Commandments. I don’t think I fall into the demographic of the target audience, because, while I could appreciate some elements, it was

MK out.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Glimmers of Hope

So - haven't had the chance to see any movies in the theater for the last few days, because I made a little run to the G. My last trip down was about six weeks ago, and there has been much improvement since then. There is still so much to do, but in general, the city is showing signs of rebirth. Even the grass is green, and the foliage is reviving. Businesses are resuming operations and there are more people hustling and bustling about.

The weather was very nice on Saturday - the Seawall was crowded with people on outside decks of restaurants - and there were people on the beaches, some even swimming. Sand is being trucked in to build up the beach fronts.

I've been reading a couple of books about Galveston history, and I have learned that the G has faced many calamities in its history. It keeps coming back, because Galvestonians are a very determined and resilient bunch. My SIL pointed out that the residents were really mad about not being allowed back on the island after Ike, because they wanted to get busy putting things right and minimizing the damage caused by damp, closed up houses after a flood. The G-ites were ready to get back to business as usual, and it appears that things are definitely heading that way.

The house in the picture is a symbol of the resolve of the people. Yes, there is a blue tarp on part of the roof, but it is fully decorated for the holidays.

Rock on Galveston...Rock on!

MK out.

Friday, January 2, 2009

FOs on a Friday

Finally finished the October 2008 socks in November.

Started these hats for charity in November and finished them in December.

Started and finished this little baby gift in November. It's from the first Mason Dixon Knitting book.

Quick knit and cute!

Made this washcloth in December - mostly movie knitting.

And finally - the moment for which you've been waiting....

The February Lady Sweater...started in August, and finally finished on the last day of 2008.

There are more finished objects, but I will save them for another post. I got cracking in November and tried to finish as many WIPs as possible. As you can see, I did start a couple too. I can't help's that dang Knitting ADD.

The main objective, though, was to finish the February Lady Sweater, and I did it! Intrestingly, all of the projects, except the FLS were knit from yarn that was already in the stash at the beginning of 2008. I think I've been pretty good about making thoughtful purchases this year, and not buying willy-nilly, just because something is "a good deal." Anyway, I really like the way the sweater turned out, and I really loved knitting with the MadelineTosh Tosh worsted in the Oxblood colorway.

I hope to continue thoughtful purchasing in the coming year, as well as knitting from stash and finishing projects that I start on a more timely basis. More on how the year ended for me as far as stash busting, and the pictures of the rest of the FOs, next time.

MK out.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy 2009!!!

The new year has started off with a bang around here. There's been a flurry of activity around Chez Karma...

Firstly, I finished my February Lady Sweater yesterday. Pictures will be available tomorrow. I was going to snap a quick one this afternoon, but the battery in the camera was dead, and now it is too dark for a good shot. I have finished a few things lately; so, maybe, it will be a knitterly post.

Secondly, the movie challenge has been moving right along. Yesterday, I watched Valkyrie, despite the bad reviews that the Ebert and Roeper replacements gave it. True, Tom Cruise did not give a very good performance, but the other actors did - including Kenneth Branagh, Eddie Izzard and Tom Wilkinson, as well as the ones lesser known to me. Cruise played Col. Claus Von Stauffenberg - a German officer who was badly injured in a battle, and who was recruited by other like-minded officers to lead an assassination attempt on Hitler. I thought the story was good, and there was enough suspense for a good movie, even though we all know the outcome of the plot.

Today, I saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - adapted from a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, of all people. It is about a baby who is born an old man and ages backwards. It is also a story of ill fated love. Brad Pitt plays Button, and Cate Blanchett plays the woman he meets when she was a little girl, whom he grows up loving. It is a long movie, but once you suspend belief that this situation is even possible, you get caught up in the story and are thoroughly entertained. At least I was. Pitt and Blanchett are marvelous, as are all the other actors playing some really colorful characters. An interesting point about this movie - it is set in New Orleans and begins in the early 1900s. This adaptation carries the time-line into the 21st century, with Hurricane Katrina in the background. I thought it was clever. The make-up was great - Blanchett and Pitt really looked young or old - depending on what age they were playing. It is a wonderful movie, and I highly recommend it.

Last night, despite my protestations that we never do anything fun for New Year's and have done the same thing for the last four years, we again went to the STARS game. I gave up. I couldn't come up with a better alternative; so, off to the game we went. It was a really fun game, and they won - for the first time in 5 years; so, all was not lost. They played really well, with 44 shots on goal. I really enjoyed myself.

Finally - I cooked two meals today. For lunch, I made Turkey Tetrazzini with some leftover turkey I had frozen from Christmas. For supper, we had some leftover ham and I made a pot of blackeyed peas and some rice. Like Haley's comet, that may not come around again for about 84 years.

So, another year begins - one full of hopes and dreams and possibilities. I wish all of you the very best in the year to come.

MK out.